Christmas for NBA franchises with deep pockets is approaching. On July 1, window shoppers looking to upgrade their rosters can bring their checkbooks to the bargaining table and acquire the talent on their wish list.
Los Angeles Lakers center, Dwight Howard, was at the center of the drama surrounding the NBA shopping spree for two years, except this time the All-Star big man is actually a “free” agent.
“Guessperts” theorize the ideal destination for the 6’11” pivot man. When Howard was traded to the Lakers last summer, many believed Los Angeles to be an ideal fit for the camera friendly rebounding machine chasing a ring.
Staying in Los Angeles would be a good move for Howard, but not as a Laker…as a Los Angeles Clipper. And there are reports that Clippers are interested in splurging on this year’s most coveted free-agent.
The 2013 NBA season was a nightmare for the young center coming off back surgery and a 2012 season of indecision and rumors of coach killing. The circus prompted the Orlando Magic to trade Howard to the Lakers.
Laker fans expected “Showtime“ with the acquisition of Howard. But, were treated to a bad reality show plagued with the wrong coach for the wrong team and a fan base determined to blame age and inadequate guard play on the 27-year-old big man.
The Lakers had gone from championship contender to a group of grumpy AARP card carriers with an identity crises and no cap space. They were old. Slow. And cash strapped. Howard, who was a basket and one rebound off his career average, carried much of the load and all of the blame.
Across the hall, Howard would be a major upgrade in box office and production. He matches the athleticism and poor free throw shooting of Clippers’ center DeAndre Jordan, with 10 added points in the paint and five more possessions off the glass.
The Clippers were anemic in their half court offense this past season. Although, Howard is not known for having an arsenal of post moves, he can create his own shot and demands a double team in the post.
Clippers’ forward Blake Griffin and Jordan are dynamic on Sports Center, but have yet to develop anything below the rim, making them predictable and stagnant on the offense. Howard would change that dynamic immediately. Yet, it wouldn’t fall on his broad shoulders if it didn’t.
Clipper fans want to win and be relevant. And due to their history of mediocrity, Howard would be the last person blamed when fans are left watching rival teams play other teams in May and June.
Howard would be the best center to ever wear a Clippers jersey if he signed. This is an honor that he’s at least three rings away from if he stays with the team across the hall.